Kia Forte vs Peugeot 308 Turbo (THP) vs Peugeot 407
For those that follow my last post will know these are the 3 cars we shortlisted for now. Since I am not able to make up my mind on these, I decided to let Sock Peng to test drive those cars and hoping she can helps me to make a better decision… the main area we were really interested i was the NVH ( Noise, Vibration and Hardness ) of the cars especially the cabin noise / environment. This was due to our first test drive of the Kia’s Forte 1.6SX at another branch yield a very unpleasant noisy cabin experience and wanted to test on a second unit at another branch.
For the past few times, I actually did the test drives for them where she is sitting at the rear’s passenger seat and observe as how the passengers will feel sitting at the back. This is especially important as we wanted to get a car that we can fetch our parents at the back comfortably. For this time, she will be the one behind the wheel and I am the passenger.
The first we tested was the Kia’s Forte 1.6SX. I am actually interested with the 2.0SX but this specific model is yet to known for the availabilities to date and Naza-Kia has not able to advise when the actual car could be made available to the customer even-though it has been launched in the November. You can check out the launch at Paul Tan’s website. We were originally wanted to test the car on the highway where we could cruise at higher speed but the SA (Sales Advisor) said we can only test the car at near by on the Industrial estate road. This probably due to someone has an accident with the test drive unit earlier.
So, off we go traveling on the “Normal” road found in most part of Malaysia which are uneven and not flat most of the time. Since that will be the most roads we going to drive the car on. Since cabin noise is what we are targeted for during this test, we tested the car on different car speed. There it goes again at around 70km/h ~ 90km/h range, we are hearing the loud road noise coming from the rear tires. At certain points, we even have to raise our voices talking to each other from front to the back. The SA kept explaining that the car has yet to be sent for alignment and wheel balancing. It is however they said the tires pressure have been set correctly and not having the ridicules 350psi in stockyard condition where the Media test are experienced.
Myself is rather accepting about the road noise generated by the Forte especially in comparison to my 10 years old Iswara… having said that, what I could not accept is the resulting big noise that are generated which sounded like the wheels noise traveled into the Cabin and generating a big “Hollow” sound like rolling an empty barrel on the rubber wheels. That is one sound that causing me to felt fatigue as a passenger sitting at the back and even the front hear it pretty well too. I wonder if that will goes away if the car is been loaded in the boot and also more passenger is sat at the rear.. or even if the wheels are downgraded to 16″ + higher profile tires. Now that i think of it.. the generated sound may be coming from the boot as I recalled Sock Peng pointed a weird design at boot area seeing a 3 layering metal structures behind the seat.
When asking my wife on how is the feel of the car, she said normal and nothing too exited from what he is already driving. ( She is not a trained car review nor myself is one.. we just test the car as per normal driving mostly ). We finished one complete journey from Autocity t the Industrial area and back to the showroom. She hasn’t really tested the flooring / handling nor trying sudden needs for overtaking and the after driving comment / feeling is just like driving another car.. nothing really special about it.
Off we go to the next showroom which is just opposite area of the Autocity from the Naza-Kia showroom.. well.. they are actually the same company, i guess since the telephone numbers are almost identical 04-5084700, 04-5084900. We are greeted by the same SA, Arul who has been serving us for few times ( including a previous visit together with my brother in law that tested the car where he was scared by his driving style ). Without much introduction, she moved to the driver seat and started the test drive on the same road for head to head comparison.
Picture source : http://www.peugeot.com.my
Once again, I am sitting at the back of the passenger seat. The 308 THP is more comfortable to sit in at the back with the rear aircond vents. The legroom is also more spacious compared to the Forte. The same road traveled and substantial road noises are picked up by the 17″ wheels but not as bad as the earlier Forte… it is only a slightly better in comparison to he Forte sitting at the back. What it wins over the Forte is the 308 does not introduce the large “Hollow” sound effect. So, as a result, sitting at the back is less fatigue traveling the same test route. Both cars’ back seat have rather bad tight supports but the leg room is better in the 308.
Even though we suppose to test for the NVH of the cars, Sock Peng couldn’t help it to enjoy the fun driving of the 308 THP and went for few occurrences that she wanted to push the car for faster speed especially when she is challenged by a Harrier that wanted her to give away her lane. On the spot, she made a comment that if she has to choose between the Forte and the 308 THP, it is very clear that the Forte will not be considered at all and clearly the 308 will be the car she wants. Another chances came when she is stopped at the first position at the traffic light. When the light goes green, she stepped on the acceleration hard making a charge for it.. but a let down when she reaches the marque of the existing cars in front of her preventing for going faster / further. Trust me, I knew my wife for 10 years… she never drove like that before and obviously, she is enjoying to the max driving like that. ( I wonder even herself realized that or not LOL ).
She does has one complaint driving the 308 THP…. she is very tired keeping the car not to go exceeding the 70~90km/h as slightly pressing on the pedal would have already goes over that.. Shall I take that as a bad point or a plus point ?? LOL. If this car is not a hatch back.. I bet we have already made up our minds.
Upon returns to the showroom, she requested to test the 407 as well. Testing the 407 wasn’t in our plan today actually as before we came, I have sort of made up my mind it will be only either the Forte or the 308 THP. The 407’s price tag is just too high for us to consider. Maybe the experiences on the 308 made her changed her mind that the Peugeot turns out to be a good car after all besides those worries that we had in our heads ( every normal Tom, Dick and Harry in Malaysia would have the same influence from Conti cars and Korean cars… as it is in our “Education” context. )
Picture source : http://www.peugeot.com.my
Having tested the 308 THP, Sock Peng having the expectation that the 407 will give the same responsiveness before she took it to the road but immediately she felt the different in the power offered 407. It is more sluggish but still manageable ( Better than the Toyota Camry 2.0 but slightly not as good as the Ford Fusion 2.5L we drove back in the states ). On the other hand, the 407 offering a peace of mind siting in it and felt secure being driven in compared to the other 2 tested earlier.
On the NVH, the car is very very much better and it is very comfortable for all of us whether is taking behind the steering wheel or for me being the passenger. I wonder why I forgot to observe on the legroom offered at the back and I am guessing it must be better than the earlier 2… someone correct me if I am wrong since this suppose to be a D segment car head to head with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord but priced at the Honda Civics, Mazda 3.
The cabin is silent, comfort and almost none of the road noise traveled into the cabin via its 17″ tires in compares to the Forte and 308 THP. I am however noted a constant rattling from the back seats or it was maybe from within the boot. When asking Sock Peng again.. which of the 3 she will like more.. she is again stating both the 308 and 407 from land of romance are offering different package with both of them are more preferred over the Forte from the land of Kimchi. Both of us are back to Square one making a decision.
The Kimchi offering best bang for the Buck offering the 2.0SX priced at RM93,800 OTR. Even if there are no physical unit to look or test for. The evaluation on the Forte is based on the 1.6SX where the only different in them in terms of performance driven are the Power Steering, the engine ( which make a huge different as the power and toque offered by its Theta II engine is matching the one offered by the Civic 2.0 FD ).. not to mention the extra Airbags (totaled to 6) on the Active safety feature area. ESC, ABS, CBC, TC, BA, EBD came as standard, keyless entry, push start / stop button ( Sock Peng does not like this though as she said is more dangerous ), leather seats, auto cruise. In overall, this made the existing Japanese’s rivals are selling too high for their price with how they specs the cars in the local market. The Fuel Consumption to dates reported to new owner of the 1.6SX seems very positive so far in comparison to the Kia Spectra that previous responsible for the bad name for Kimchis. what I don’t like about it is the 4 speed AT ( well all 3 cars I am comparing are 4 speed AT ), without Auto Up driver window, no electrical foldable side mirrors and without Alarm installed.
The 308 THP basically offering an 1.6L turbo charged engine from the PSA-BMW Prince / Mini Cooper S that matching a 2.0L performance especially on the flat toque curve from 1400rpm up to 4250rpm. This is probably one of the thing contributes to good fuel consumption as the usable torque in more reasoning RPM we normally drive at. Dual zones air conditional and also rear air conditional vents. Continental cars have also famous for the built in terms of comforts and also safety features ( NCAP crash test for 5 stars ). At RM113,888 OTR, it is pretty worth paying for considering what been offered by it. It again showing the rest of the Japanese cars are over priced in the C Segment within Malaysia. The answer would be very clear if these is a sedan variance for us to choose for.
The 407 is a different beast by itself which is rather weird it was in our comparison while choosing a car at this moment. It is something that suppose to be bring in probably for the next car in another 5 to 10 years when we are more into the ages needing a firm ride. We both agreed that getting the 407 will be the most suitable for long runs as we do not need to worry about getting another family car when times go by.. e.g in next 5 years. When the rest of the D segment car like the Camry and Accord is priced at, the 407 Premium at RM130,000 after massive discount offering by the SA now sound like a good price ( The CBU version of this car was sold at RM170k+ before it been offered at CKD model ). Leather seats, dual zones aircord + rear vents, 7′ touch screen LCD capable playing mpeg files. 10 x JBL speakers including a 240W amplifer and built in subwoofer, 7 airbags and etc. The only thing stopping me is the price tag, the maintenance cost and the fuel consumption of average 10L/100km. The highest among the 3 I am comparing.
Could not get a toque curve for the 407 but it is not something like the 308 with maximum 140 hp @ 6000 rpm & maximum 240Nm at between 1400rpm ~ 4250 rpm… rares RPM that I will drive at final gear… since I am not really a speed daemon on the road.
At the end of the day… it made 2 of us now.. wondering .. which will be the one we want… hopes we can come into conclusion soon enough. I hope you would find something useful in this sharing on the Kia Forte vs Peugeot 308 Turbo (THP) vs Peugeot 407.